2012: Capture Your Grief: Day 16

Day 16. Release Balloons, lanterns, butterflies, doves.

My thoughts: Last weekend we celebrated my nephew’s birthday. Last year at this time we shared the news of our trio with my side of the family so living that anniversary was tough. That said we successfully lived the day with joy for my not-so-little-anymore eleven year old nephew. We spent that evening talking with my parents and siblings about a burial plot that we’d chosen for ourselves and the possibility of all of us sharing the area with one monument stone. Tough conversations to have, but we did it. The next day we drove everyone to the little slice of land in the beautiful cemetery we chose. The kids all fed the ducks (and WOW how those little guys have grown! Take a look at the awesome shot below of them all flying across the pond. What a site!) Then we made our way to the burial area and I took out some special friends – the little lambs from their funeral. I dressed them in the little winter hats that my niece and nephew made for the babies. Their little smiles warm my heart. My sis-in-laws picked up balloons for the day (one for each of the babies we’ve lost – yellow for the first two, pink for Alice and Alexis, blue for Elliot – which worked out perfectly as each child there got one to hold/release). I grabbed my camera to capture the moment and struggled with words. I didn’t want to say it. I choked out the words to let them fly and the battery on my camera died. Of course it did. I snapped two pictures and then felt defeated. I didn’t feel like I could enjoy the moment because of the stupid camera. But then I looked up at the balloons as they were drifting further away (how did they get so far away so fast?) and we all sort of held our breath as we noticed one of the pink balloons was caught in the branches of a nearby tree. The kids were upset. So I sat and stared at it. I just let myself look at it there with all the others barely in view on the horizon. It stayed. It let me breathe and just BE. The tears hit – hard. My daughter ran up to me asking why everyone was so sad. And then my brother yelled, “There it goes!” – and the last little pink balloon was set free from the branches and I watched it float away ’til it disappeared from site. Somehow we were blessed with an extension of a moment that otherwise would have been gone too soon. One little balloon.

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